Monday, December 29, 2008

The first of so many batches to come!

For Christmas this year, I was given such a gift, the gift of making my own ice cream. Now, as anyone with a dairy allergy can attest to, alternative milk ice cream is over priced and limited in flavours. Those two reasons alone would turn anyone towards making their own creamy delight. But for me, there is a third reason, I want to know exactly what is going into my ice cream.

My own sweeteners, my own flavours, my own time.

This is my first batch. Adapted from the instruction manual 'slash' recipe book that came with the machine. Just a simple vanilla ice cream, and at the last moment I added a sprinkle of dark chocolate piece into the mix. My first attempt didn't work. The mix wasn't cold enough so the canister melted before it could make me ice cream. So i put the mix into the fridge for another day and the canister into the freezer. I also found some fantastic sounding recipes in The Veganomicon, which include silken tofu and coconut milk, Mmmmm can't wait to try those out!

Steve and I are still working on this batch of ice cream, sharing it with friends, talking about it at gatherings and letting the lite creamy delight melt in our mouths every evening.

$6.99 a pint at the market! $2.99 a pint in my kitchen, I like those numbers!

Basic Vanilla Ice cream

2 eggs
1/2 cup Xylitol
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup Almond Milk
2 cups Soy Creamer
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp chocolate extract

  • Whisk eggs in small saucepan over medium/high heat, until they cook evenly into a creamy texture. Remove from heat and add Xylitol, stir until melted.
  • Whisk remaining ingredients into egg mixture and refrigerate overnight, to chill.
  • Once ingredients are chilled, continue on as you normally would to make ice cream.
  • When ice cream is ready, I dropped in a handful of chocolate pieces which I kept chilled in the freezer.
  • Pour finished ice cream into a plastic container and store in freezer.
This recipe makes an 'icy' lite ice cream. Since it is the 'fat' in the ice cream that makes it creamy. I'd say this is a 'low fat' ice cream.

Enjoy! and Stay Tuned for more icy adventures!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

din din

Homemade coconut curry

Buckwheat "Soba" noodles

Silken Tofu

If you live near an Asian grocery store, and have never stepped inside you are missing out! A step into the unfamiliar, but isn't that what learning is all about? Almost all the labels have English on them and the nutritional guides are also shown on most products.

My local shop is called S&S located on Locke Street, Hamilton. The prices are the lowest around and the selection is unbeatable. Coconut milk, fish balls, dumplings, edamame, noodles, curry, soup bases, and fresh produce.

Since living in Taiwan the taste of Thai and Vietnamese food has never left my palate. There are times when I crave it, and nothing else will do. If I'm lazy its Take-out, but if I have the energy I do all the shopping and chopping myself. Its 2 pot cooking at its best.

Coconut milk is a little high in saturated fat, so it is an occasional meal, but well worth the indulgence.

Try something new this winter, and spice up your life!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Steve surprised me with my very own glass Christmas Ball

Oh 'tis the season for kitties to play in bags of paper

On the net, me at my computer

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A poem for my kitchen

some people like to look in medicine cabinets
too see who you really are
i like looking into fridges
i like looking into sinks and on spice shelves

in my apartment
you may see my un-made bed and my pile of laundry
but if you did
you'd miss my clean kitchen counters and perfectly organized cook book shelf
if you were looking at all the cat hair on my couch
you'd be missing the funny magnets on my spotless stove
you see...
Like a free mind can wander without worry
my mind is at peace in my kitchen
if i have a funny quote it goes on the fridge
if i have a funny toy it goes on my spice shelf
pictures of friends and my love
little bottles of spice and salts
oils and acids
bottles and bowls
if you can tell alot about someone by their eyes
look into my kitchen and stare straight into my soul

Friday, December 19, 2008

Cocoa Haiku

Winters hot cocoa
Snow flakes and ice all around
My cocoa and I

to make * whisk almond milk * cocoa * xylitol * in a saucepan * over medium heat* stir often
if you have fire in your soul * add a few shakes of hot chili flakes

kitties are funny

He peers around the corner waiting for me to pass so he can swipe me as I pass, the sneaky monkey.

As I was writing he was biting the end of my pen... actually he was more gumming it. I think he liked the way it felt against his teeth.

But it was affecting my writing.

Oh kitties are funny.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Adele Bakes

I mean, I bake all the time. But lately I have been more open to trying new recipes rather than the old wrinkled ones I have up on my shelf, stuck together with batches of sticky finger prints.

This recipe I just got simple with and added chocolate chips and walnuts to, instead of making them like Milano cookies, dipping the cookies in melted chocolate and sticking them together.

They turned out Fantastic and light and chewy and soft. They are a thumbs up for sure!

If you have a diabetic friend or family member, why not bring these along for Christmas dinner, so everyone can enjoy a baked treat!

Chocolate chip walnut cookies

adapted from Vegan Milanos from The Post Punk Kitchen

1/3 cup almond milk (or rice or soy)
1/2 cup Xylitol
1/2 cup olive oil (or canola)
1 egg
2 cups whole spelt flour (or whole wheat)
2 tablespoons arrowroot starch ( or cornstarch)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cups broken-up walnuts
  • Preheat Oven to 350 degrees Celsius
  • Mix wet together
  • Sift dry together
  • Add wet to Dry
Batter will be very wet. Scoop with teaspoons onto parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for 10-14 mins. Until the softness or firmness you desire is achieved.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Giving, Needing and Wanting

As it does every Christmas season, the chattering begins about what to buy for Suzie and what to give to Auntie Lucie. The rush to buy, the stock to hide, the lists and more often than not, the stress. I understand the want to give, the excitement of receiving. But for so many the 'want' to give is replaced by the 'need' to give, to some or all of your circle of friends/family members.

I say Why? A dollar value should never be set for what a proper gift should be, a quantity should never be set on how many gifts to give to one person.

I don't want anyone to worry about what to give me. Nor do I want to worry about what to give someone else. When I sit down and think about the people on my list, I think of who they are and items come to mind. While walking by a shop window, something caught my eye and it strikes me as something perfect for that person on my list.

This year I want to help the environment with every gift I give. I want to help others take the step to help the environment. I am not thinking of what to give to Billy or Maggie. I am thinking about what I would like them to do for the environment this year. Small things I can present them with, with a card explaining a great idea for a New Years resolution. A compost bin with compostable liners! Why not, I know lots of people who might start composting if they were just given a little nudge in the right direction. A reusable coffee mug filled with info on how many paper coffee cups are thrown out every year.

We all have lots and lots of 'things' and yet we still want. This impulse is human nature, so it is up to us to discipline ourselves enough to know that we probably don't need all the things we want.

This is the first time I have worked in retail. Yesterday, like so many times before, I was blown away with how much selection and choice we have for practically every given item ever made. There will always be a newer, better, cooler thing. You already have a water bottle that works just fine, but ohhhhhhhh there is a new kind with a pop top that would be so much better.

Since taking a drastic pay cut to work for Mountain Equipment Co-opI have come into a new found strength against all the wants I find myself confronted with. I like this new power to tell myself. "No, you don't need that, you already have one" I like learning to appreciate what I already have, and learning to see all the things I have as what they really are.

They are what they are, and I only need what I need.

All water bottles, hold water and allow you to drink it, all back packs hold stuff, all toques keep your head warm... Until these things no longer do what they were designed to do, I don't need to get another one. These things will probably outlast me on this earth, and here I am thinking I need more. Its just more to store, and more to move around from place to place.

We shouldn't be burdened with our things, we should be enabled by them. They help us do the things we need to do, that's all. They do not define us, or make us happy.

And with all this lack of buying 'wants' that I am doing , there is still no shortage of pulling out my wallet. I need to buy train tickets, I need to buy food, I need to buy gas, and I need to buy water.

I have banished my credit card to the depths of hell and am carrying more cash. I want to feel the money go through my hands. I don't like spending 'cash' but I am not attached to the dollar amount I swipe on my debit card. So my debit card gets dusty while I strengthen my discipline to only buy what I 'need'.

Take that consumerism!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Versaware Pro Crock Pot

I busted it out... my crock pot, I mean.

My parents gave this wonderful invention to me for my Birthday in July. It is a genuine work of art. Oh I know, maybe just us kitchen gear heads gets all tingly at the sight of a new crock pot, but everyone has their thing they love, and I love cooking.

This is the first time I have used it, since the snow on the roofs and the caramel apple scented candle makes me long for a warm bowl of stew. I dug around in my bin of random recipes and found one that looked promising.

Chop-chop-chop Sizzle, saute, stir Chop-chop-chop Sizzle, saute, stir Chop-chop-chop

Then the best part is how I act like Ron in the Infomercial of the century and shout out loud...

"Just set it and Forget it"

It is cliche, but there is some serious merit to the function "Set it and Forget it", because it is just so amazing! The dial on the right sets the length of cooking, in hours. The dial on the left, sets the temperature, low, high or warm. Once the time set elapses the crock automatically shifts to the 'warm' mode. '

I believe it started off as a recipe from Canadian living for Slow Cooker Beef and Mushroom Stew but as always, I started with that recipe only as a base plan for the measurements, temperature, and time. That is why cooking is fun, you can use anything as a foundation and throw in your own ideas. I added almond milk to make a creamy broth, I added carrots and tofurky sausage because I don't eat meat.

The stew turned out great! Steve suggested more liquid, and I agree. I would add 2 more cups of veggie broth and another cup or almond milk for sure. I would also add some garlic!

I am working 7 days straight and home at 9:30pm every night, so I think my crock pot is going to have its work cut out for it!

p.s. I welcomed winter yesterday. I looked out the window at the snow falling and smiled. Winter doesn't need one more person to dread it. Winter makes me slow down, take my time. Mostly for safety sake, but it is refreshing to be forced to slow down.

Maybe a little winter, is what we all need, from time to time.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Comfort and Joy!

The winter air is nipping at my neck and ankles, telling me it is no longer the season for low cut socks or thin overcoats. The season of warm blankets, frosty window panes and the smell of fresh baked cookies is here! Yes, I did use an exclamation mark, which means I am happy at the thought of all that snow and winter cheer.

I am looking at winter in a whole new light this year. With my new job, I am not relying on my car to get me anywhere, I will be using the Go Train. The whole scraping, brushing and shoveling routine really start to wear on me, so the idea of leaving it all (and my car) in the driveway and walking to the train station, brings me a sigh of relief, this winter.

My new job at Mountain Equipment Co-op also brings new outdoor activities closer to my finger tips. Among many other things, I am working with cross country skis and snowshoes! I am surrounded by people who are enthusiastic at the thought of the outdoors in winter and their enthusiasm is contagious.

After a long day of snowshoeing or hiking in the brisk winter air, nothing seems finer than coming in to a warm cup of cocoa and a chewy chocolate chip cookie! So here is my favourite cookie recipe for you.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
**Low Glycemic, Dairy Free

2 cups Whole, Spelt flour (or whole wheat)
2 tbsp Flax seed, ground
1 tsp Baking soda
1 tsp Stevia (powder)
1/4 tsp Salt

1/2 cup Xylitol, granulated
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/2 cup Walnuts, broken
1/2 cup Chocolate Chips
1 ripe Banana, diced or mashed
1 egg
1/4 cup Almond Milk (or soy milk)


Sift all the dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Then in a smaller bowl mix all the wet ingredients together. Pour the wet into the dry and stir them all together. The batter will be wet and sticky.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using two spoons scoop and plop cookie dough onto the sheet any way you like. These cookies will not flatten and spread out very much, they will puff up on the spot, so don't worry about how close together they are.

Bake in a preheated oven set at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes. The cookies may not look done, but trust me and don't over bake them. When they cool down a bit they will be perfectly soft and delicious.

Makes about 17 average sized cookies.

For a festive touch, add you favourite chai tea to the mix. Simply rip open the tea bag and toss the lose tea into the wet ingredients as if it were a spice mix. Or try a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, or just cinnamon.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Becoming aware

Why do babies cry so much? Is it because they are fully aware of the needs of their body and cannot express it? Or are they bombarded with so much sensory overload that crying is a relief? This debate could go on for years, I'm sure.

What I am talking about is Body Awareness.

Our bodies and our minds are attached. Which means our organs and muscles are in direct communication with our brain, and our brain then translates that to something we can understand as hunger, strain, etc. I believe that over the years we can lose touch with what our bodies are telling us. I was a subject with this loss.

Everyone in the world knows the pangs our body's emits when we are hungry, the twinge in our side when we have a cramp, or the dull pain of a headache coming on. This awareness is simple and basic. You can't ignore those signs, they are innate to our physiology.

The awareness I am talking about is much more subtle and finite. The kind that I believe we start with as a child, but lose somewhere along the way. Eventually those signals turn into whispers and we don't hear them anymore, they are pushed aside by the never ending daily signals like stress, thirst, hunger and so on.

But I am listening, I have been listening more and more on my path to health and wellness. I am 25 and I feel like I have been missing these subtle finite signals for so much of my life, that I am only now truly aware of my inner workings.

One day I noticed a small tightness above my kidneys, on both sides. Nothing more than an oversight, not painfull, it didn't effect my daily movement or mood. Just a minor tightness that popped up in my thoughts as "hmmmm this is new". I did some research online and saw that my Adrenal glands were in that area, and they could become aggitated with too much caffeine and stress.... That made sense, since I was on a high-caffeine fat burner and quitting my job at that time. So I quit the fat burners and found a new job and soon enough the feeling in my lower back was gone. Maybe I wasn't right, it could have been a pulled muscle that just got better. What matters is that I noticed it.

Its cheesy but I am so proud of myself for learning to listen to my body all over again. I eat when I am hungry. If I feel like sleeping I do, when I feel like running, I do. I am doing everything I can for my body to keep it well oiled and energetic.

This Body awareness is a tool we can use to be our own doctors. Do the words "early detection" ring a bell? We are our own watchdogs. This body awareness also applies for skin and hair. We should never feel like we don't know whats going on in our bodies. If you wake up in the morning and you feel more tired than usual. Take a moment to think about why? Don't just brush it off to old age or a bad mattress. Take those things into account but with more detail.

We owe it to ourselves.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

me and m.e.c.

me in Taiwan waiting for the sunrise atop Alishan Mountain

I have been heading towards this job for years now. Ever since graduating from Algonquin College with a Diploma in Outdoor Adventure, I have been gaining experience in the industry and in different work environments, which have all been crucial to how I experience this new job today. That's what everything comes down to... out past experiences help determine how we experience the things we do today.


I just finished 2 weeks of training with a few more to go. Training that consists of literally testing all the outdoor gear we sell in the store. M.E.C. is the Toy'r'us for adults outdoor enthusiast. All the gizmo's and gadgets, sweaters and tents, and gear you could ever want.

I have been nervous, excited, calm and exhausted, these feelings changing likes waves depending on what I would be doing next. But I feel good. And that's all that matters.

m.e.c. you make me look forward to winter. You surround me with people who boost my own enthusiasm for the outdoors. You all speak my language. You all recycle and know what composting is.

My mind can grow, heal and rejoice at my job... this is going to be easy to get used to :-)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I earned a badge for my Dirt Pudding!

My recipe for Dirt Pudding was featured on The Back Burner today.
Click on the badge above to see the post.

The Back Burner features receipes uploaded from The Key Ingredient, the recipes come from all over, usually with pictures and a commentary. We all know that some recipes never turn out right even if you follow them precisely, so its refreshing to see real recipes in action.

Dirt Pudding - Dairy free

A layering of creamy, chocolately, crunchy and chewy with creepy ...

See Dirt Pudding - Dairy free on Key Ingredient.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Funny Munday

What's on the menu...

Round up those veggietarians and fry 'em!
-Photo found on Flicker

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Everything tastes good when campfire is involved

Left over Red Lentil and Cauliflower curry from the Veganomicon, and Garlic Naan

Marinated Tofu, Rice Cheese, fried eggs and fresh blueberries.

Just a peek into our Dinner and Breakfast over campfire. We went up to the Elora Gorge Conservation area this summer and had a fantastic time. Clear, deep lake swimming, fishing, hiking...oh and eating!

Make the reservations, fill the cooler, pack the car and GO!
Don't think, Don't stall, just go!

1 - 2 - 3

Summer this year has been the most rewarding summer I have ever had. And the most thinking I have ever done, in one small period of time. Hop into my head and I'll tell you all about it.

I don't usually stop and think about all the good things there are, because I am so busy living through the daily stuff. Unless a cool breeze blows my way, or something beautiful catches my eye, I don't stop moving. I never stop moving. But this week, I have had alot of time to think, which is what vacations are for right? But this vacation I took to get away from daily life. I took it to find the connection to myself that was quickly slipping away. The hustle and bustle of daily life, is a common theme for almost everyone, which leads almost everyone to say the same cliche lines like 'You have to stop and smell the roses or time will pass you by" things like that, ya know?

I am a victim of always thinking one step ahead. When I am eating breakfast I am thinking about lunch, when I am driving I am thinking about what I will do when I get there.

I saw an ad in a magazine for Le Creuset cooking ware, and it showed one of their amazing pots on the stove beside a pile of fresh veggies and herbs, and in the background a group of smiling women around a table. The caption was "This is my Happy Hour" and I laughed because that is the perfect way to describe what I feel.

So I stopped to think about all the good things...

Everyone has their release, and as Happy Hour at the bar is a relaxing thing to do after a hard day, my kitchen is the bar to me, and food is the vice that grips my racing mind and brings me back to the ground.

Standing in my kitchen, chopping, smelling, washing, dicing, every step of the way, is pure instinct. I can pick up two items and smell them and know if they will taste good together. I know by the sound of the oil in the pan if its too hot, I know by the way a mushroom cuts under my knife how old it is. I know by the density of the pizza dough, how long it will need to cook and what temperature I should put it at, so that it cooks slow enough to cook the veggies on top while not over cooking the crust. All these things calm my senses. Knowing things without a doubt, calms me, Life, on the other hand isn't a bowl of produce, I can't anticipate it.

My routine has been thrown off lately. My direction in life is changing. My habits, my complacency in the job world is gone, I am back on the market. There is nothing more sobering than updating your resume and putting yourself through job interviews. Some say that starting fresh is invigorating and wonderful when you are moving in a forward positive direction. But dammit its scary! Its like being the new kid in school, so much to learn, and yet, so much excitement.

But things are different, the jobs I am applying for are in the Adventure Industry, well, the gear and equipment sales of the Adventure Industry. But long story short, is that I know Adventure gear and equipment like I know food. Funny eh? If you were camping, climbing, paddling, hiking, skiing, in hot, cold, wet, dry, high, low, I would know what you need to outfit your entire trip.

So here I am waiting for calls from future employers, waiting to go to another interview on Monday and cooking, at home, on a much needed vacation.

But no matter, what, everything always comes back to food.

Roasted Veggies

2 cloves Garlic
10 cherry Tomatoes
10 yellow Heirloom tomatoes
2 jalapeno peppers
1 green pepper
a few turns of fresh cracked black pepper
a pinch coarse sea salt
a few gulps of olive oil

  • Slice these all together roughly, toss with olive oil and place on tinfoil. Bake in preheated oven set at 350 for about 20 mins, you don't want the garlic to get too brown so stir the veggies around on the baking sheet every once and a while and pull them out when they are soft and roasted.
  • Dump all the veggies into a small high sided container and add:
a handful of fresh chives
a handful of fresh basil.

  • Pulse with hand blender a few times for chunky sauce or lots of times for smooth sauce. Toss over some warm pasta with:
a small tab of butter about 1 tbsp.

  • A Delicious side dish to accompany a piece of pan fried salmon, or tofu or chickpeas!
Always come back to the things you love.

Friday, August 22, 2008

earth+water+sun= life

I picked up a mixed packet of wild flower seeds at a local flower shop and threw them into some soil, watered and waited and here they are (except for the portulaca). I planted these a little later in the season, so they are just coming alive now, which is nice, because many of my other plants are finishing off their season.

Like so many gardeners, many of my tomato plants turned into trees bearing just a few green tomato's which never ripened before their branches broke and withered away. There has just been so much rain. I mean, I wasn't complaining, since carrying my watering can into the apartment for refills, 8 times a day, was tiring! But the rain was just too much, this season. So chop-chop went a few of my saddest tomato plants to make room for those that were producing.

These are some photos of the tomato's I harvested this week. Mmmm, roasted in the oven with a little olive oil and Hosin sauce.

It is late August, you can feel the night becoming cooler, and I can't help but think that summer is coming to an end. I am dedicated to my outdoor space though, still clinging to the idea that I can sit out there anytime I want.
Coltrane and I still frequent the garden daily. I end up checking all the veggies and pulling off dead leaves, he sniffs around, chases flies and eats any flecks of grass that try and poke through the stones. We are a good team!

Summer is and will always be, my favourite season!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Be the change that you want to see in the world. - Gandhi

Action expresses priorities. - Gandhi

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. - Gandhi

Where there is love there is life. - Gandhi

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. - Gandhi

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. - Gandhi

Adaptability is not imitation. It means power of resistance and assimilation.
- Gandhi

The pleasure lies in making the effort, not in its fulfillment. - Gandhi

You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind. - Gandhi

It is health which is real wealth, not pieces of silver and gold. - Gandhi

Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances. - Gandhi

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. - Gandhi

All true art must help the soul to realize its inner self. - Gandhi


They are simply words, arranged in different order. Words which you can choose to hear, or choose to ignore. Each day that passes, Words are getting stronger. When I lived overseas for a year, I entered an English word vacuum. No longer susceptible to subliminal messaging, subconscious reading. There was a splodge of English here and there, but as the Chinese language is mainly symbols and characters. I found myself grasping for books like I was gasping for air. I would lay on the couch all day, and read, line after line, feeding my mind with what it craved.

But why did I crave the Word? Why do 'we' crave the word?

Actions speak louder than words... I want words. I want them on my shirts, I want them in my kitchen, I want them on my body.
Words speak to me.
These quotes I found today, will be stamped on my walls within the week. Why? Because I have lost focus, things have been blurry. I have been back to Canada for years now, but with the onslaught of English advertising, highway signs, cereal boxes, that need to read, left me. It didn't even leave a forwarding address until today. Today it called from within and told me I need to start CHOOSING what I read.
I only really know one language. One set of words which when arranged in one way, makes me feel good, while when arranged in another can shift my world, bring me down, hustle me out of my drive to be me.
Since positive words make me feel so good, I must surround myself with them. I will let these words affect me, effect me, penetrate my being. I want these words to be my mood, my mantra, my food.

What do words mean to you?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Needing pencil crayons, leads to theories of living

I had an urge today, to draw something with pencil crayons. That was the medium I needed. I needed to sharpen and shade and blend as hard or lightly as I wanted. Which brought me to my options, go out and buy a new box of pencil crayons, or drive out to my parents house in the boonies*, to get my art supplies out of the basement.

(* for those of you not familiar with this term it is affectionately used to describe houses in the country, outside of the city or in the "boondocks".)

I am passionate about reusing and I am on a budget, so I think I will have to drive out to the 'rents house tomorrow and pick up those pencil crayons to scratch this sketching itch.

Whenever I end up needing something from my parents house, I feel the weirdness of living with only half my stuff.

I am in this transition period, not completely out of my parents house, but not completely into my own house. Apartment living is that dimension where semi-adults my age, thrive. I thought I should document this time in my life, because it is a time that I may not remember going through years from now.

But are those pencil crayons really mine? Technically they are from my childhood, so I should split them with my brother, and my Mom may still want to use them...

I have to explain that I hate feeling burdened by stuff. I hate clutter, I love organization. My apartment is small, but clean and simple. So, the idea that I have boxes of stuff in my parents basement gives me the sweats... As much as I need stuff, I hate having too much stuff.

(People say Hate is a strong word, and that it should not be used frivolously, so consider this not a frivolous use of the word.)

This transitional period started when I was 17, working away from home. Only bringing what I thought I'd need. Then each summer away, the list of "needs" would change based on how much I wanted to lug around and what I wanted to do. One summer, my paint-kit came with me, the next summer my knitting-kit came with me. This travelling side-show life I had is over, but I am still technically living this way. I can't afford a place big enough to fit all my stuff, nor do I want to lug all my stuff in and out of every place I move to, but I still feel the need to keep this stuff. Why? Because of the FUTURE! The future may hold a kitchen with tons of storage, an Art room, a Green house, a Garage! So I will hold onto this stuff because one day, I will have to choose to let go, but not today!

This week, I will drive into the boonies, pick up pencil crayons and draw. And my happy semi-adult-pseudo-house living will continue to thrive.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


"i'm not trying to meddle, but you might wanna cool it with the coffee, there guy."
Some days at work when I am forced to interact with some of the people at work, I feel like shouting DAYS OF THUNDER!

Those three words just came to mind, this morning, at 9am, when I was having yet another conversation, if you could even call it that, about Tim Horton's coffee. Tim Horton's should be registered as a gang slogan! In this building if you mess with a persons morning cup of Tim's you are persecuted and lectured till you turn blue!

I don't even think Tim Horton's heartburn brew should even be allowed to call itself Coffee based on the composition of its mass consisting of, just guessing, less than 50% actual coffee beans.

But besides that, this morning I had a run-in with a senior member of the staff who I had to treat like a five year old having a temper tantrum, because of TIM HORTON'S COFFEE. This guy could fire me on the spot, but if he thought that was going to stop me from telling him "This is nothing to get angry about" he was mistaken.

I love telling people who are angry that I know they are angry and they can kiss my ass, in not so many words, of course. But this guy was spouting off the most stereotypical 'angry dad' voice I have ever heard all because the staff coffee fund isn't always stocked and it's too much work for him to restock it and I should be making sure that he gets his morning coffee without a hitch.
Even though it has NOTHING TO DO WITH ME and I don't even participate in the staff run coffee fund. I just happen to be at the front desk -where I work!. I believe there was even the line " I have spent more time on this coffee stuff, in the last two weeks than I have on my own work!" Well that says alot champ! Thanks for the perspective into how important you are to this company!

My main point.....

I think it is inexcusable that some people in the working world believe that when they step into their workplace they think that being polite, having common sense, common courtesy, and having a conscious don't apply. Being given a position of power in a company does not give you the right to raise your voice to another employee or talk own to them, for any reason, ESPECIALLY over a cup of lousy- cheap -dull- brown- liquid, masquerading as coffee.
I may be on the lower end of the corporate ladder, where, if I compared it to a pool ladder I would be one of the steps under water. So i'm low on that ladder, but I don't kiss any ass or let anyone get away with talking crap to me.... lets hope I have a job next week!

Get a grip people, if you can't be decent, stay home!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Kung Fu Fighting!

Send a JibJab Sendables® eCard Today!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Twenty Five Bones

I am 25!

Today signals the passing of a generation and the beginning of a new generation.

I call it Generation try-not-to-start-acting-like-an-old-person.

Now I want to explain, that by "Old Person" I am not talking about age! I am talking about those people who lose all memory of what it is like to be a kid. I think once you turn 25, you're at risk!

(Before you are twenty five there is no risk because you are a kid! Everyone knows it! Your parents still let you do laundry at their house, shit, you may even still live at home! But once you cross that 25 mark, I think generationally you are in a whole new file folder. The "Get your shit together" file, or The " You should know this already" file. Luckily I have already had files for years, labelled "Credit card, Student loan, utility bills", etc. so I am a little bit ahead of the game!)

I've been using this term "Old People" for a while now, and I do find that people get offended by it, but it can only be offensive if it is misunderstood, or if that person already thinks that they are an "Old Person" and doesn't like the idea of my talking about them in a negative way. Which makes sense, but I won't stop using the term, because in my mind, it makes sense.

Old people are the ones who don't crack a smile when a little kid pulls an orange out of the pile in the produce section, only to send all the other oranges cascading into the isle. Its a lesson in gravity and geometry, and the world is teaching it!

Old people are just people who have lost their child like wonder, and I think the world could use more people with child-like wonder, and less impatient old people.

Stay young at heart!

Monday, July 14, 2008

The path of a vegetarian

Sometimes it's hard to be a Vegetarian. "What in Gods name is that?" is a frequent comment in my workplace lunch room. "Sorry but God didn't make this, it's tofu, so suck it up princess!" would be a great come back to that small minded comment, but I hold back and let them know "It's tofu"

There are generational divides where I work, and everywhere else, between people raised to eat whatever they were fortunate enough to have, people who have always had an endless supply of food, and people who have chosen carefully what they put into their bodies.

If the list of heated topics to steer clear from is "Sex, Religion and Politics" you would think I'd be in the clear to bring up the latest BEEF RECALL headline in the news, or TAINTED MILK SCARE headline, but you would be wrong.

Talking about Food having a negative effect on the world is incredibly heated!

Why is it so heated you ask?

Bottom line...

Most People just don't like to think about it and I put it in their face.

They like living in a world where everything is OK. There are too many other things to worry about, bills, gas prices.... Maybe the only thing that keeps them sane is that box of Hamburger helper they can eat with a smile.

Food, to so many people, is VOID when it comes to the Environment. Food production isn't ruining the environment, how crazy is that! No, food is good and pure and it nurtures you... it is the essence of all that is good in the world.

Yes and No

Food is my life. I will admit it. I think about it as much as I breath. I spend hundreds of dollars a month keeping my fridge stocked and my belly full. But I pride myself in the CHOICES I make towards both the food I eat and the food I serve to my friends.

Forget diets and fads, I am not even talking about food in a sense of Calories. That is a topic for another huge post, I am simply talking about Food in a sense of being environmentally conscious.

Food production across the world, is having a detrimental effect on all aspects of the environment. We are even changing the genetic make-up of plants to suit our mouth-stuffing needs. Even with all the food we are making, it still isn't reaching all the hungry mouths before it rots in the warehouses of the Big Food Industry. So its not like we can brag that food production is keeping the world well fed, it isn't! The environmental downfall is not worth it, so Industrialized Food production has no excuses to back up its devastation.

All the true farmers, who listen to their plants and know how to work the land hand-in-hand with the environment are going to all disappear. Leaving Monsanto and oil to feed us. We must support the organic farmers and local farmers, the small food production companies who don't sacrifice the environment to squeeze out a few more crackers.

It's all about choice! In a world where everyone is supposed to be accepting of people 'choices', making a choice to not eat meat and dairy is like lighting off a bomb at the lunch table. You are a terrorist, you are wrong, wrong, wrong! No one has a problem making fun of you for it, telling you how much you don't know... oh the list goes on.

I think almost all of my friends are meat eaters, as was I just a few months ago, until I felt a turn inside me. On my long path to being as light on the earth as I can, I am gradually feeling things I never felt before, like pain inside my heart when I think of animals being bread and farmed for me to eat. It just stopped feeling right, so I stopped buying into it.

I am not sickened by my friends bacon on their breakfast sandwich, it smells good. I am not angry with myself for liking the smell of bacon, what would that do? Nothing. I am simply choosing not to eat it.

Those who ride a bike to work for environmental reasons, are they persecuted by the car drivers? Do they think the bicycler believes they are better than everyone else? Doesn't that seem ridiculous? Then why is it such common practice to look on a vegetarians meal and furl your eyebrows with disdain.

I don't preach my choices, I have just simply made them. I feel good about my choice. My vegetarian lifestyle requires me to learn more about what my body needs to work strong and stay healthy. I nourish my body and soul with the choices I make.

Choice is the one thing you make on your own.


Every day when I get home from work,this little guy is meowing behind the door, having no patience for my jingling keys to fit into the lock and release him into the garden he has been watching all day.

Coltrane loves the courtyard. He is an indoor cat, only because of the positioning of our apartment building between too many roads and apartment buildings. So after screwing a couple BBQ grates to the fence, blocking off all the escape routes (that's ghetto, i know) we can let Coltrane roam freely in the courtyard.

He knows where his little Cat Nip plant is, and he monitors its progress daily. By that, I mean, I feed him a leaf and he repeatedly tries to get the rest!
Yucca plant
This is a Yucca plant my neighbour pulled out of his front flower bed, and handed over the fence to me, to add some vegetation to my patio area. It didn't look so good, but I watered it daily with hope that it would pull itself alive again. Again nature proved its strength and after cleaning up the dead spikes and giving it some fresh soil, it has begun to sprout new spikes, and has become one of my favourite parts of the patio. It was a lesson for me, to never give up on a plant, because it may surprise me.

Scarlett Runner Bean
This one bloom is about 6 feet off the ground, just enough to keep it out of the hungry mouths of carpenter ants. Which was the fate of the last few blooms. I started this plant from seeds in my living room, while the frost was still fresh outside. So I feel a great connection to how fantastic it has become. Plus, look at that colour!

Zucchini Flower
This is the first time I have ever grown a squash plant and I think I might have 10 next summer! I love these blooms! Not only to look at, but I have heard that it is very delicious to batter and fry them! This summer I only have 4 plants, and am looking forward to eating zucchini until I start looking like one, so I don't want to pick any blooms for frying.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

What June passes on to July

June has been an amazing month for gardens. It has rained nearly every day giving life an easy start to the growing season. I have only had to fill my watering can a 'bakers dozen' times this entire month. Which is helpful because I fill up the watering can in my kitchen sink!